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Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits

Lesson 58 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits

Lesson 58 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

58. Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Why Just One On-Camera Flash


5 Reasons to Use Flash


Common Flash Myths


What Makes Flash Challenging?


Chapter 2 Introduction


Flash-Strobe vs. Ambient-Constant Light


Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure


Flash vs. Ambient Demo


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Natural Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Creative Effect


Understanding Flash Duration


Chapter 3 Introduction


5 Common Key Light Patterns


5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill


5 Common Secondary Light Patterns


3 Primary Subject Patterns


Light Qualities


The Inverse Square Law


Inverse Square Law in Practice


Corrective White Balance


Creative White Balance


Chapter 4 Introduction


On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash


Full Feature vs. Manual Flashes


TTL vs. Manual Control


TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times


Flash Power & Zoom


HHS vs. ND Filters




Chapter 5 Introduction


4 Tips When You Must Use Direct Flash


Bare Bulbing Done Right


Grid Snoot + Direct Flash


Mini Beauty + Direct Flash


Ring + Direct Flash


Understanding Modifiers


Direct Flash + Shutter Flash


Chapter 6 Introduction


Ambient vs. Direct Flash vs. Bounce Flash


Silver Bounce


More Light Silver


Soft White Bounce


Overhead Bounce


Overhead Bounce + Fill


Event Bounce


Chapter 7 Introduction


Natural vs. Dramatic Light


Filling and Refining Existing Light


Coloring Light for Corrective Effect


Coloring Light for Creative Effect


Chapter 8 Introduction


Case Study 1 - Dramatic Sunset


Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset


Case Study 3 - Sinister Headshot


Case Study 4 - Family Portrait


Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits


Case Study 6 - Working Angles


Case Study 7 - Drag + Composite


Case Study 8 - Less is More


The Good Karma Jar


Favorite Feature Flashes


Favorite Manual Flashes


Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers


Lesson Info

Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits

Case study number five are athletic pork it's now I want to talk to these scenes because these were some of the more complex scenes and setups that we've done and we didn't spend too much time as far as the thoughts and approach that went into shooting these shots when I arrived in the gym and by the way again these trainers most of the shoot that we've done here these air all our clients guys if we can't use these techniques on actual shoots I wouldn't be teaching them to you but when the techniques are going to be a little difficult or impractical I've been trying to be as honest as possible in telling you that you know this is really more of a lighting to one thing but if you're in a pinch you can do this type of technique but that's not what we have here this is a technique that's actually very reasonable to do now if I do have off camera lights set ups than of course used them in if I'm shooting a professional that of course do it my client does know here that we are filming and w...

e're filling for educational purposes so we're going to use on camera flash and reflectors and so forth and they were cool with that I would not show up to a professional shoot with just my own camera flashing a couple reflectors without them knowing that they're going to feel like well wears all the gear where's all the professional stuff where is all your just it's just not a good idea okay, so be sure that they're aware of what you're going to be working with and stuff otherwise you know, it might be a little surprised but what is the thoughts on approach we got to this gym and I work on this gym quite a bit so I know that jim layout and one of the thoughts that I had was has this garage door the back of the garage and I actually love using the back of garage doors to get shots because you knew a lot of unique things the lines on them with lighting them a certain way and you can light them in a way that it really doesn't look like a garage door it'll look like a fantastic pattern or leading lines or so forth so I thought, you know what I'd like to do is use this garage door and maybe use it as my backlight in the shop. When I got there the door was closed so I just asked is it okay if we open the door a little bit? So what I do I placed an assistant just right in front of where I would have basically these guys standing just an assistant to stand there as a subject or a placeholder in my friend and I have someone opened the garage door just while I look at basically the kind of rim light that the garage door is allowing to come in the garage door is basic rating will not kind of room on the side that really more of a backlight because it's coming straight from the back and is giving him a nice little edge you could see it around levi's well we get this nice little edge and right when I haven't kind of about right it's like maybe maybe a foot foot and a half off the ground I say that's great leader right there is just a nice little kiss of light and it's perfect the next thing I know is I love for that light to be able to come in and kind of have a little bit of ambiance to it I want that light to come in and have emotion and feel so I think okay, well let's use the fog machine we have the roscoe many v it's a fairly inexpensive fog machine guys it's only four hundred fifty bucks and it adds so much production value to images like this one and it's fantastic effect a half one you can have these more smoke effects but when you let the fog dissipates you get this beautiful ambien and kind of environmental haze that looks beautiful and kind of fills up spaces and prevents the scene from being so contrast and so black and so forth so I haven't pop that in just fill the background a little bit with some fog and we kind of are shooting at different moments with fog like dispersed versus not dispersed so when it's not dispersed it kind of looks more like smoke and when it's dispersed it looks kind of more like an ambien effect if you guys don't want to buy a fog machine maybe don't shoot enough with it that's fine go out red one you can rent a fog machine guys for like twenty bucks thirty bucks okay and then the fog fluid you can buy a bottle of it for twenty bucks and I'm I'm still in the same bottle of fluid and I've used it for like I don't know thirty forty shoots at last forever so that's how we're getting kind of look in the background okay so now that I've got that I go okay let me figure out my exposure for this background I've got my fog in there a little bit so I could see what that looks like I got my subjects standing here I just want to see a little bit of this lines in the background I want to see some of that light coming through so we expose were on twenty four seventy it's this twenty four seventy cannon mark too I have to point a lens and we're shooting at one fifth of a second at two point eight four hundred one thing to know is my shutter speed is getting fairly slow so with a shutter speed that slow, I probably want to make sure that I turned on what on the flash rcs right rear curtain sink you need to have your record and sink on because our flash getting slowing to make sure that if there is an emotion that flashes coming at the end of the frame to freeze everything, I'm not trying to get motion in these shots. I'm just lowering the shutter speed because I don't want to raise my eyes so up anymore, and I want to able to get some of that ambien affect the ambient light in the background, so I'm loving that lowering the shutter speed just kind of keeping is still using recurrent thing just in case okay, so I've got that back on exposure now what we've done here, we've created essentially we have a now a background light we have a light that's now on the background, so we have this sorry we have a backlight coming in with a background like kind of right behind him over this background area so that's two lights that back light is also acting kind of give him a little lighting right there, so we have this to light set up and all we've done is just modified the existing location, lighting a little bit I've also turned off the existing lights in the gym because they're these kind of fluorescent life, they don't really look that great, and now we set up our lighting, so for the subject I used the v flat, we use the white b flat. Why? Because I want the light on this side to go from head to toe, which means that I want that b flat to be standing head to toe, and then I also want, uh, the light coming out of the flat to be a little bit less intense that way when I use a silver on the other side, the kick well, the silver is closer in the kind of intensity as the white if I use the room, if I use a silver as the first balance and a white as the second, the whites going to be much, much less intense is a fill than the silver is if I flip it around and make the white the first bounce that the silver is going to be closer strength because the silver picks up more light, the white is goingto leave a little bit of light is going to lower the intensity just a little bit, so we use the white b flat when I'm firing against that b flat, okay, the beef linus straight up and down. There's not really a way to tip a b flat without using stands without having your assistant hold it so to get the light to come kind of top down flashing up a little bit. Okay, some flashing a little bit up and into the top of the v flat so that way when the light comes back it's kind of more of the light is coming from above than below. So if you are getting some of that spill, throw the grid on okay, the grid is going to control it from spilling into the background and coming back it's gonna control from spilling on your subjects? Either way, you want to make sure that all your light is getting into the v flat and not going anywhere else. All right, so that silver is placed on the other side and what we bouncing out? Where? Right around one quarter toe one eighth power and we get these shots now it's essentially split, letting that b flat is heavily directional it's right off to his right side to his right side. I'm simply controlling whether we're getting brain brand lighting by the face position, right? We haven't looking down to the right we get a little bit of rembrandt we haven't looked straight at the camera, we get split either way this lighting is fantastic because it's very directional and it comes across the body and you can see what it does to his veins his vascular idiot really drops a lot of shadows around the veins which brings out his muscle definition brings out muscle definition across the body and because we're firing top two kind of the high point of the flat the lights also kind of coming down and so it's creating a little bit of shadow also underneath the abs now the one change that elected make is I would love to get the b flat up just a little bit higher and maybe angle more but that requires kind of stands and something else involved we just didn't have that on set and I don't want an assistant to kind of hold the entire time because if you're bouncing you're going to get very inconsistent results if it's not on the stand okay but you can see we have great definition now there's one thing that I want to point out here if you look closely at this image with lead by you'll notice a little tiny black edge around his body over here okay what do you think that black it is from I keep do this little little children's positing what do you think that's from let me ask you a question as if you guys can answer for me jos like I don't know what that is he just nodding do whatever you want pie it's totally okay okay that black edge is coming from basically the shutter speed, I'm getting a tiny bit of motion, either from the camera or from him, a little bit of motion and movement like maybe you're breathing, maybe is doing something the flash is freezing him, but there's a tiny demotion there and that's the black edge that we see we're basically we're cutting off light from the background with his figure, and so we get a little bit of a black, a drowned, so you just pop off a few shots of your stalling on the shutter speed, pop up a few shots so you make sure they're completely still. You can also mitigate that by putting the camera onto a tripod and then taking still, you need to take a few shots and tell him to hold his breath or exhale and let all the breath come out and then take the shots. So that way, there's no movement on him either, but that's do your shutter speed drag because we're starting to see a little bit of motion get picked up. So, of course, the other thing you could do in this situation to speed up the shutter speed. We didn't have that on jeremiah, even though do these air at the same settings and I have plenty of shots with levi without a cz well there's just this one shot that had and I wanted to show it to you all so he has no exactly what that is in case you want to remove it from your images if it happens and it's an image that you love not a big deal you can always go in a photo shop and just kind of clone stamp the edge all around and it's totally fine it'll fix it but if you can fix it in camera you should because it's much easier so in total gear well what do we have? We have a grid we used to be flat were the sylar bounce plus the stand to hold the bounce we have our fog machine which again is kind of an optional thing here we let that fog dissipate and it ends up almost looking like a little steam coming off his body which looks awesome here the fog is more intense and kind of full and it looks more like smoke. We have shots where we'll show you also where it looks like it's more dissipated just environmental you want to see any steam or anything it just looks like the environment has a lot of grey and it doesn't look like it falls a complete black which is really nice to kind of reducing some of the contrast and seemed like this sometimes a scene gets to contrast it to two black and white and detailed, and that fog that hes lift some of the shadows little bit looks really nice and that's, really a guy, so you can choose as faras the gear goes, which ones you prefer as faras, with reflectors, v flats and all that kind of stuff. Just remember, when it comes the shot, set it up first, set up your background. Step everything, look at the lights that are existing, try and manipulate that a little bit, so you have more like toe work with by opening up. The garage is slow, but we have a backlight positioning them, then adding in your own light. Rumors start with the first primary, light your key light, and then add your fill or whatever other light you need as necessary afterwards. That's it for the shot, hopefully all enjoyed and let's head on to the next video. Now.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 101 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


The best class for understanding light and lighting there is bar none. Pye is an excellent teacher and the quality of the material provides for a rich and very informative experience. Pye breaks down the fundamentals in easy to digest packets and then elaborates as needed. If there is one class that you watch this is it! Worth purchasing and saving for future use. I would also HIGHLY recommend downloading the saving the PDF of slides that accompany the videos. Again, and can't say it enough, this is THE BEST video to lighting on Creative Live. A must watch for the novice and the expert.


Great course, I highly recommend it if you want to become a more confident flash user. Pye is a wonderful instructor and just such a nice guy, it's a pleasure to listen to him

Simon Metselaar

This is the best thing that happened to me since I've been into photography. What a lifesaver. Unfortunately I already payed for some courses that are not Pye, but Pye just nails it. Amazing, and kind of a life hack. Thanks again :)

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